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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Massacre of the Semi-Innocent

This post may make you throw up in your mouth a little.

I rarely feel an absolute compulsion to blog about something. Every once in a while, as something is happening or when I notice something, I think to myself, "oh...I should write this out later and explore why I felt this way" or something along those lines. But today, as I was holding the ChickieNob up to stare at herself in the mirror (she was wearing an oversized March of Dimes t-shirt as pyjamas, a crown, high heels, and someone's old ballet skirt--you can see why she would need to check herself out), I was thinking silently, "I need to blog about this morning before I get down to work."

It all began yesterday morning actually.

I noticed a glint of silver in the closet and moved some enormous containers of soup noodles (what? You don't buy soup noodles by the case?) to see that someone or something had shredded the internal wrappers on some chocolate bars. The mouse was back.

And I did what any mouse-fearing fifties-throwback would do. I told Josh to take care of it.

The store was out of many kinds of traps and the only thing they could offer were traditional snap traps. He baited four of them with peanut butter and set them out before bed.

This morning, it was Josh's turn to sleep in and I brought the twins downstairs, both going commando because I had left all of their clothes in the dryer last night. I decided to swing by the kitchen before I went down to collect the laundry and I hung away from the door, peeking inside at the traps. One had definitely been moved.

I ran upstairs and woke Josh, just as any mouse-fearing fifties-throwback would do.

"I love you so much and I know it's your day to sleep in and I will let you go back to sleep after this for an extra eight hours but you are so big and I am so little and you are made out of strength and I am made out of skim milk and I. think. there's. a. mouse. in. the. trap."

He bolted out of bed and went down to the kitchen while I casually collected the twins and held them in the living room, chattering on about a huge mess I had made in the kitchen and how I needed Josh to clean it up because it was the sort of mess that a person like me simply didn't deal with. It is just one of the drawbacks to being a skim milk constructed, tissue-paper-like kind of girl.

I hope they don't turn out like me.

It was a mouse with a broken neck and Josh took it outside for a garbage can burial. Which made me ten kinds of sad (and I'm certain that someone will comment on animal cruelty on this post). But he did eat my chocolate bars and poop on my kitchen floor. Not that the crime deserves the death penalty, but I blame a lot of it on Home Depot for being out of other traps.

But wait, you say, that didn't make me throw up in my mouth. Wait for it.

I went into the kitchen to look at the other traps and noticed that one was missing. I asked Josh if there had been more than one mouse. He came back and counted the existing traps with me and agreed that one was missing. "Is there a chance," I asked, "that a mouse could have gotten trapped and dragged it somewhere?"

"Anything is possible," Josh answered.

He started poking around the kitchen while I returned to the living room to fold clothes and try not to think about the fact that a dying mouse could be in this room at this very moment, dragging a trap behind him, wondering what kind of sick human would harm him like this simply because he wanted to partake in a little chocolate. Does this human maim everyone who comes in her house, seeking a little chocolate? The next time Lindsay swings by, is she going to have to contend with losing a body part if she muses that a square of Hersheys would hit the spot?

As I am trying to look and not look under the sofa at the same time (I don't want to be the one who finds this thing), Josh calls out a grim, "it's here."

"With a m-o-u-s-e?" I ask.

"No...with a bit of t-a-i-l. No, wait, not with a bit of t-a-i-l."

And I have no reason why that would bring me INTO the kitchen instead of running as far away from said trap, but I entered the room to see Josh staring at the trap in revulsion.

"It's his foot," he admitted.

I warned you that you'd throw up a little.

Somewhere, out there, there is a tiny hurt mouse missing a foot. Inside, we plugged the crack of space next to the dishwasher where he left the trap and silently thanked him for his great escape which showed us the door he was using when he came to steal my chocolate.


bleu said...

Oh how awful to deal with.
When they opened our street (it was a dead end before) the construction disturbed a bunch of mice and one night I saw one scurry in our homw. I freaked. I can deal with spiders and bugs and all sorts of stuff but anything that is even close to a rat and I freak. Anyhow roomie got some traps and we got the sticky ones thinking they were nicer than the snap traps.

next morning there were 3 in sticky traps, but here is the awful part. They were solidly stuck but very much alive. She had to take them outside and smash them. I still have HUGE guilt she had to do that. We got some live traps for catch and release but they just came back so eventually we got snap traps. I am glad they are gone but it still gives me the willies to remember.

DD said...

Oh, no! Poor little thing, but you know we've dealt with our share of mice and as for house mice, the only good one is a dead one.

Definitely don't do the sticky traps or even live traps. You'd have to do something with them. I guess you could always get an exterminator?

battynurse said...

Ohhh, poor mousy. I had a mouse in my house once and after stuffing all the holes with steel wool I set out humane traps and caught absolutely nothing. Yet the little bugger would get up on my bed everynight while I slept (I would find the poop in the morning). I finally had to go with the snap traps and one morning heard the snap. I cried and apologized all the way out to the garbage can.

TeamWinks said... I hate mice!

Lisa said...

Ugh, I am so sorry you had to see that! I had a mouse problem about a year and a half ago (townhouses, so G-d knows where they came from....) and, between poison, glue traps, and snap traps caught more than I will ever admit in public. Seriously, it was traumatic and I still shudder at the thought of it.

Kymberli said...

I had an experience similar to bleu's a few years ago. Our house was new construction in a new subdivision that was build in the middle of a heavily wooded area. Lots of mice lost their homes and some decided to take up new residence in mine.

One winter night when I was tucking my twins in, I heard this grinding, gnawing noise coming from down low within their bedroom walls. Later, I heard a similar sound from the high in the walls within my closet, which is on the other side of the house from the kids' room. "I think we have critters in the walls," I said to Frank. "I don't know how they're getting in here, but you have to do something about it with a quickness. I will be utterly eeked out I see one actually in the house.

The next day, he and my dad came over for Critter Inspection. We use our garage mainly for storage and at the time, we hardly ever ventured near the front by the door. Everything we needed close access to, like our deep freezer, was close to the back of the garage where the door to the house is. Long story short, Frank and my dad found a family of little field mice living in the nooks and crannies of stuff stored in the front of the garage. They had eaten through the back of a bag of grass seed so they had plenty to eat. We don't have baseboards down in the garage, and they got into the walls by crawling through the 1-inch gap between the bottom of the drywall and the floor.

Frank and Dad cleaned up the garage, put the grass seed into a lidded container, and strategically set out sticky traps around the garage. I did feel a little bad the next morning to find six stuck mice, a couple of which were still straining to breathe. The next night four were stuck, and that seemed to be the last of them. We haven't had any critters since then, thank heavens.

No flowers for Algernon and his homies.

chicklet said...


luna said...

poor thing. but you know what, mice poop is pretty gross, especially in the kitchen. you can offer up a little prayer for him. but you did what you had to do.

I especially like how you get josh out of bed to deal with big bad things, and explain to the twins why mommy just can't clean that sort of thing.

anita said...

When I read this it reminded me of a post at The Redneck Mommy

Maybe you could buy the kids a kitten?

Jen said...

I support and protect all wildlife. Until it moves into my house. Then I make an announcement that traps will be put out (in case it is a talking mouse, like The Mouse and the Motorcycle) and then war begins. Mice aren't good for houses. Here, I haven't had any mice yet. I caught a frog in the kitchen last night though. Maybe the ninth or tenth indoor frog we've had since we moved in. Someone should look into this to see if we are having a subtle plague.

OHN said...

I snap their cute little necks with the traps and throw them away WITH the trap too. I can't bring myself to even "unhook" the little buggers.

Has anyone mentioned that when there is one there are usually more? Long ago and far away I rented an amazing apartment in a 200 year old victorian manse. I didn't know about the rodent problem till I had been there a couple of months (the low rent in an amazing area should have been a clue). I had an older male neighbor come up with 5 traps after I saw one mouse....the next day he had to come and reset them because they ALL had mice in them. By the time I moved out, I had caught makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. (After the first "batch" I didn't even keep food in the apartment except for the peanut butter to catch the little bastards). EWWW.

Murgdan said...

I have nothing against amputee chocoholics by any means. But anyone who poops on my kitchen floor risks severe punishment as well. Glad you were able to shut him out for don't need any other creatures limping around messing up your sweet tooth!

Martha said...

Ugh, Double Ugh! I can handle spiders and insects, but draw the line on rodents.

Mel, I got my act together and am ready to go for Show and Tell Sunday. Thanks so much, Martha

Blog name: A Sense of Humor is Essential

Martha said...

sorry, not on the best of terms with my enter key
for Show and Tell
A Sense of Humor is Essential

Fertilized said...

AWEeeeeee that's dreadful

Lori said...

I wouldn't exactly call any creature who steals chocolate "innocent" -- semi or otherwise.

What am I supposed to do with this little bit of throw up? Spit it out or recycle?

Mrs. Spit said...

Ugh. I've been the mouse killer. You know that they have to go, they cause damage and carry disease, but, oh, why do they have to be so darn cute!

Paz said...

There's no winning. You don't want 'em in your house, but you don't want to kill 'em either. Well, one warrior got away to tell his tale and warn the others not to venture your way.

loribeth said...

Ugh, ugh, ugh. I think when you wrote about Mouse #1 I told you about our visitor, about two summers ago. The first and I fervently hope the last. I later found a hole in my plastic dryer hose & we figue he came in through the dryer vent on the side of the house, down the hose & then up from the basement. dh saw him at breakfast (& promptly lost his appetite), & then I saw him too. We went to WalMart when it opened at 7, bought half a dozen plastic snap traps & a jar of peanut butter for bait, & set them around the house where we'd seen him, & went to work. The thought of this mouse rampaging through my empty house while I was away gave me the willies, but he was dead when we got home, & yes, I made dh go look & then get rid of him. ; ) We kept the traps up for a couple of months afterward, but thankfully he didn't appear to have brought company. Knock wood!! I hope that's the last of your visitors too!

annacyclopedia said...

I've suffered through some pretty major infestations, living as we do close to the edge of town and lots of open spaces. It is strictly Manny's job to deal with mouse disposal, and I have no problem with that whatsoever. I clean the toilet, he handles dead mice. Seems fair to me.

We were in the midst of a mighty battle (that we have won - for now) against the rodents over Christmas last year, and I was trying to hide the evidence of the dozen glue traps scattered around the main floor while my family was all here for the supper and gifts. At one point, my nephew opened a present that turned out to be a little dinosaur finger puppet. My uncle, on the other side of the room, said, "Oh, it's a mouse!" My sister just laughed as she watched me panic very quietly and look all around the room at their usual travelling routes, finding nothing but scared to death I'd be exposed to the whole family as a filthy mouse-harbourer, until I figured out that my uncle was talking about the finger puppet.

Jen J said...


I don't think that I could handle that in my house! It was bad enough when we got RATS (yup... rats) in the Recreation Center that I was working in. They were digging up the street and the rats came inside. Maintenance decided that sticky traps were the most humane way to deal with them.

Well, one night they caught a rat - a BIG ONE and in the time that it took for me to call the on-call maintenance person to deal with it - he managed to get free leaving his tail behind. So not only did we have rats, but we had an angry one too! YE-UCH! Needless to say it was a l-o-n-g time before I went in the backroom again!

Hope the infestation is over!

Cassandra said...

This past winter a mouse (mice?!) moved into the drawers in my kitchen. There was nothing edible that he could access, but he chewed up some silicone spatulas. I sterilized everything and put it all into containers. I emptied his favorite drawers. I tried all of the remedies to repel him (fresh mint, peppermint oil, cedar, Bounce sheets) but every time we'd clean the drawers there would be new poop by the next day. He seemed to have spent a lot of time inside my soft-sided lunch bag -- that went straight into the garbage. Same with the box that stored the hand mixer.

In the end, I learned to live with him. I didn't use half of my drawers in the winter, and for the other half I packed everything into tupperwares so that he couldn't constantly contaminate the utensils.

As a vegetarian, I couldn't bring myself to kill him (not that I would eat him, just that I don't endorse killing animals). Sometimes I would see him hopping around outside, and he looked so cute. But I'd really love for him to find a new home this winter.

Just Me. said...

Holy Mother of Crap! I hate hate Mickeys and Minnies!!!!

I was gonna blog about my Mickey and Minnie experience when Spring hits us in a few weeks time cuz that was the beginning of our nightmare last year!!!

One night, just the start of Spring, we heard a huge Minnie (River Rat) run across our bed roof. We didn't know it was a Minnie till our neighbour told us cuz she said that's the time they come out to mate and we lived near the Swan River in Perth! After that, we had baby Mickeys and Minnies!!! It just freaked me out cuz I had NEVER NEVER seen a Mickey before!!!! The scary part was it just loved to traumatise me! It would run in circles and I'd scream like crazy!!! It would go to the living room every morning for a morning jog or stroll and I'd scream like mad!!

We put Mickey traps and we caught 5!!!My neighbour says if there's 1, there's more and they multiply really fast!!! God knows how many more the house had cuz we moved to Melbourne thereafter!!! My ex-colleagues thought I was weird cuz apparently, to them, living with Mickeys and Minnies are the norm!!But what's the norm to them is totally ABNORMAL to me!!!

Just writing this, makes me wanna puke BIG TIME!!!



ps Sorry, animal loving people. But I can't stand a Mickey and its tail or it little nose twitching within my sight. I JUST CAN'T.


Kari said...

if someone ate my chocolate and pooped on my kitchen floor, they would be getting off easy losing a foot.

Chocolate is very important in my house.


Not that I hate mice.

I hate bugs.

Rebecca said...

So sorry you had to deal with that!!!
I love animals, and try not to kill what I don't have to...however, when it's got four legs, a long tail and a twichy nose...GAME ON! (actually...if it's got more legs than me and isn't a dog or's usually toast if it comes in the house!) We deal with field mice often around here, we're rural and surrounded by woods. This year there hasn't been much of an issue, because we have a cat (not our pet...just a wild cat that just decided to live behind our shed) that had kittens earlier this year, and I think that's helped the issue. However...when one does slip past the claws and fangs of Mama Bird, Princess, Turtle and Moe and winds up in the unfortunately meets it's demise. They seem to love whatever I have stored in the basement, so we've had to transfer all our stored items into Rubbermaid totes. Between exploding well tanks and mice, I'm about to just rent a storage shed and call it quits for storing anything in the basement! I won't even go into the SKINK I had to deal with a few years back! I get the shiveries just thinking about that nasty thing!

Drama Queen said...

*shudders*. We had a very similar experience about a year ago. My sister-in-law was babysitting for us and called my husband and said "you guys have mice". She had seen one in the LIVINGROOM! We blew her off until about 2 days later when I found the poop in my potholder drawer in the kitchen.

We bought a crap load of sticky traps and put them in the kitchen and behind the couch. After three days and 7 (YES SEVEN!!!) catches we thought we were done. Until one morning I heard "What the hell?" come from the living room. It was hubby. He had found a trap with just a tail. We never did find the tailless mouse, he must have gotten the hint and gotten the hell outta dodge.

YUCK!! My thoughts are with you!

Kristin said...

I don't have to worry about mice. My kitty is a mouser and regularly leaves there limp little bodies around for me to find. Eeewwwww.

ms. c said...

Ok- barf.
Glad you found the entry point and are hopefully on the way to being mouse-free.

Jess said...

Ugh, it's awful and sad, but I grew up in the country (we are here still, actually) and there's just no other way. :(

Mrs. Higrens said...

Before we were married, I was at DH's while he was away, and guess what I heard in the kitchen? The only thing worse than seeing a mouse is not having a big strong man there to take care of it while you cower on the sofa. And don't get me started on our cats, they could have cared less that there was a real, live mouse for them to play with.

We used a live trap and caught a mouse several days running. How to tell if it was the same mouse? DH grabbed a can of spray paint that happened be in the garage and gave the last mouse a shot of color...we didn't see any more mice. Not the same as losing a foot (or a tail) but I think they got the message!

Sarah said...

Ugh. We have mice too. And while I have to admit, I think they are kinda cute. Y'know, being fuzzy and whiskery and all. I really, REALLY don't like them living with us. They can carry some really bad diseases. And I have a child and am obviously trying to have another, we just cant allow them to continue living here. We use the snap traps. We've used the have a heart ones, but they have NEVER gone into them. I don't know why, but they haven't. The only ones that have done anything are the snap traps. =/ I cant bear to use the sticky ones though, they get stuck and just suffer. I've found baby ones stuck on them before(different house) and cried because the little thing was just stuck and suffering. At least the snap traps kill them instantly. Except the ones in your house apparently. Eeeew.
Our cat catches them every so often, but she does no good. She just thinks they are fun to play with.
I feel really bad about killing them. I do. But not as bad as I would feel if my son or husband got sick from them. Y'know?

Laura said...

I'm so sorry-for you and the uninvited guests! I've been there, and it gives me the creepy crawlies just thinking of it. May they never come back!

Anonymous said...

Oh Mel, that is so gross!!I feel for ya! I came home from college one year only to find that my parents had mice. I was totally freaked, but my dad said, "Don't worry...they stay around the edges of the room." As he said this, a mouse mockingly scurried straight across the room behind my dad. Now, at our house, we haven't had to deal with that yet, but we do have bats in our belfry. And our cats do nothing about it. SIgh...lazy things...

Io said...

Ewww. Mouse foot.
We had a mouse in college and I'm kind of glad it never got hit by any of my many traps. Because I would have had to clean it up.

When I was a kid my dad caught a mouse with a glue trap and then couldn't figure out what to do. He stood outside the kitchen door (we were eating dinner when we heard the squeaks and he found it) and tried to shake it off. It was stuck. So finally he got exasperated and threw the glue sheet with the mouse stuck to it. In midair the mouse came loose, landed on the driveway and ran back in the open door.
I think they gave up on trying to be humane after that.

Qtpies7 said...

Animal cruelty or not, I agree with a commentor, the only good mouse is a dead mouse.
We had a mouse eating our matress in our hide a bed!
we were setting traps to kill it when our 5 year old daughter started crying "How would you feel if you were a mouse and all you were doing was living your life and someone tried to KILL you!"
She doesn't feel that way now that she is 17, lol. Now she wants them dead.

Jill said...

awww poor mouse!

Vacant Uterus said...

Oh, ew! I'm so sorry for those poor mice and grossed for you. And really, Home Depot should start stocking more of those humane traps. We once had a tiny field mouse in our house in the midwest. We named her Henrietta, trapped her in a small box, and I drove her out to a farm and let her go. She was actually pretty cute. For a mouse.

Also, I love the way you talk to Josh. I might have to start talking that way to Sarge. :-)

Marie said...

Ack, That gives me the heeby jeebies. I used those sticky ones in the country and they would stick half-on and drag it....SO GROSS.

midlife mommy said...

I am sorry about that foot thing. That is awful. But, I don't feel sorry for mice generally (even though I don't want to see them suffer). I did feel sympathy once, after we saw one run across the floor in our den. I thought that we needed to set humane traps and release them somewhere else. And then I read about the Hanta virus. And the other nasties they can carry. And then I worried about my daughter coming in contact with them.

Fortunately, one of my cats stepped up to the plate. It turned out there were three of them, and she dispatched them quickly. Thank goodness.

Bea said...

I wonder if he can get a little pair of mouse crutches? Then he an sit outside his mousehole and regale the youngsters with his tales of heroism. Am I romanticising vermin infestations too much?